Roma Carol Penton passed away August 2, 2022 and is survived by her mother Laura, husband Jim, daughter Shelby, bonus-sons Travis and Tyler, and grandchildren Kambrie, Samantha, Roman, Bruno, Mila, Evelynn, and Finnan. She was pre-deceased by her father Ray, and brother Michael.
Roma was born in Macon, MO on November 23, 1956, an auspicious day that has often co-hosted Thanksgiving. It is very appropriate that Thanksgiving shares her day as we are thankful for every moment with her. Roma earned her nickname “Mo” from her cousin David who was unable to pronounce Roma, though it is fitting for a woman who lived her life in the state of MO.
Growing up Roma enjoyed camping with her family. She was a girl scout earning the First Class Scout award, and a Rainbow girl.
Roma graduated high school in Liberty, MO in 1975. It was then that Roma developed her interest in science by driving across the state line into Kansas to buy three-two-beer with her best friend Ann in order to test the proposition that drinking through a straw produces inebriation more quickly than other methods.
In the Fall of 1975, Roma attended Northwest Missouri State University and the University of Missouri at Kansas City’s dental hygiene program graduating in 1979. On her first day of dental hygiene classes at UMKC Roma surveyed the 35 other students looking for a friend and found a life-long group of friends ready to party or support one another a moment’s notice, and most often ready to go skiing.
Roma was a leader in the Kansas City dental hygiene community as a past president of the UMKC dental hygiene alumni association, and is a well loved hygienist who worked on the Plaza and in Parkville at Burns Dental Care. A patient and friend once remarked on how Roma always liked to ask a question right before putting tools in their mouth and wondered how on earth she could ever understand their answers. Roma retired from dental hygiene in 2017 when she was diagnosed with colon cancer. Roma’s patients keep in touch after her retirement and stop her husband and daughter in grocery stores to find out how she’s doing. After retiring she played lots of golf, enjoyed her friends and family, and relaxed in the Arizona sun.
Roma tried her hand at marriage a few times before finding happiness. You may also know her as Roma Preston, Roma Bell, or Roma Lineberry, but all these aliases refer to the same wonderful woman. Though some of these identities lasted longer than others, in each iteration Roma has been the life-of-the-party, a true friend, and quite a catch.
A very young Roma Preston made one single attempt at off-road jeeping. This one and only trip was arranged by the fates, because how else can we explain that such an otherwise miserable trip would include an introduction to one James Hedrick, known as Jim, whom she married in 2008, nearly 30 years after meeting. Shortly after Roma and Jim became an item they relocated to Smithville, which is just down the road from Paradise, but they have felt like residents of Paradise the entire time. And in 2021 they returned to jeeping!
It was Roma Bell who became mom to Shelby, multiple times winning the coveted “Mother of the Year “competition through her love, devotion, work as a chauffer, chef, personal shopper, personal assistant, interest free lender, guru, therapist, chief cheerleader, indulgent Grandma, and of course, dedicated dental hygienist. Her wins were clinched by her service as role model for how to be a strong, self-reliant woman living a fulfilling life.
Roma is an enthusiastic golfer and member of the Excelsior Springs Golf Course, and on July 7, 2009 she scored a hole in one at Marimac golf course in Kearney, MO. In 2019, Roma expanded her skills becoming a birth-support-person at the birth of her granddaughter Evelynn, and becoming a world traveler on a trip to Roma, Italy, with a few pit stops in Croatia, Montenegro, and other southern Italian ports.
Whether you know Roma, or are just getting to know her through this memorial, I hope you’ll agree that we are all better off for knowing her.
Visitation to be held at Pine Ridge Presbyterian Church on Friday August 5, 2022 from 6:00 to 8:00pm. The Memorial Service will be held at 10:00 a.m. Saturday, August 6, 2022 at the church. Flowers may be sent to Pine Ridge Presbyterian Church at 7600 NW Barry Rd, Kansas City, MO 64153, or Roma requested that donations in her name be sent to LevelUp Kids or CaringBridge. Memories of Roma and condolences to the family may be shared at meyersfuneralchapel.com.